2017 ARC Crossing

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Date Price (per person) Availability  
12 Nov 2017 - 11 Dec 2017 £3995.00
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18 Nov 2018 - 17 Dec 2018 £3995.00
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2017 ARC Crossing

Venue: Atlantic

Price from: £3995 per person

Duration: 30 Days

Girls For Sail Verdict

The ultimate sailing challenge. Guaranteed to be 3/4 of the most memorable weeks of your life! Something you will tell your grandchildren about - make them proud of you as you regale them with stories of your adventures on the high seas! Defintely one for the bucket list - any age of lady can do this - GO LADIES!!

What the Girls Had to Say

“The crew are unrecognisable from the day we set off. Everyone is helming, trimming, reefing, furling, setting the pole, working at the mast and in all weathers now. There have been a lot of fears faced, and challenging moments. But as we all agreed yesterday - you have to give some to get some - with the challenge comes achievement... A unique bond has formed amongst the crew and the boat now; We can all sleep soundly in our cabins with a 100% mutual trust that whoever is on deck will keep us moving safely in the right direction.” ARC blog 2014 

Starts: 12 noon, Las Palmas for Prep week.

Finishes: 10am, St Lucia*

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About The Event

THIS IS THE 12th TIME WE HAVE CROSSED THE ATLANTIC! So you are in safe, experienced hands.

The Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) is the largest annual transatlantic event in the world and has been undertaking this adventure for over 25 years! Following the traditional trade wind route from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean, the ARC currently attracts in excess of 200 yachts every year. It is a safety conscious rally concentrating on faciltating an amazing personal achievement for many a yachtsman - the ARC team do a fantastic job of ensuring the adventure is a safe one.

The excitement builds as yachts gather in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria in preparation for the journey ahead. It's usually a gentle downwind crossing most of the way which means sails up and surfing!! The 2800 miles of ocean takes approximately 18 - 24 days to sail dependant on the wind. On arrival at Rodney Bay Marina you will never be more emotional about seeing a marina!! To be able to sail the boat efficiently and enjoy yourselves every one of the 6-9 crew members will pitch in! This will include daily routine work such as cooking, cleaning, helming and of course the watches! Be amazed when at night the whole world comes alive with shooting stars, dolphins and sailing under the moonlight! Magical... 

 

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The starting point and warm up - Canary Islands

The 2 Ps are in the Canaries - parties and preparation! Las Palmas organizes a great send off! There's a welcome party, fun dinghy rally where you have to make your own craft, an Irish night and then on the penultimate night, the crew fancy dress party - the first team challenge you will face!

We meet on the Monday in Gran Canaria* and start getting to know each other, everyone is given a job or two - someone looks after the water, one person manages the dry stores, one luck lady gets to be social secretary (a full time post!) Getting across an ocean is not a one man job - it will all come down to teamwork. During the week there will be many seminars going on including; first aid, provisioning and downwind sailing and we encourage you to attend as many as possible especially the safety and weather routing (see safety section)

On the social front, here is one of our entries at the infamous ARC fancy dress   night..guess what the theme was?!

*Accommodation is not included on board for preparation week. Please contact us for accommodation options during this week

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WHY GFS

There are approximately 250 other boats sailing to the sunshine, so....why choose us?! Here are just a few really good reasons :)

-As the only all-girl crew to do this (10 times!) we guarantee we have seen all the issues that might arise and are very knowledgeable about what to do.

-We have had the most amazing feedback from these many crews, all of which is available to read onFacebook or on our website - or read the many public blogs!

-We are very well respected and are proud to say we have won three of the top awards that are possible from the ARC (see below)

-As an established RYA sailing school - we are extremely safety aware. Our boats are inspected regularly with maintenance part of our syllabus at the school.

-You will be guided by our years of experience as Yachtmaster Instructors. Our skippers are awesome. One went on to be the only female Round The World clipper skipper to win a leg, another has won the youngest skipper award twice and of whom we are expecting great things - and another is our Principal who now guides the events from the sidelines when she's not skippering one of our boats herself.

-You will be guided by two qualified sailors and the skipper will have crossed the ocean before. You will be hard pressed to find a more accomplished set of coaches for your adventure.

-We have top of the range self-inflating lifejackets with hoods, lifelines, deck mounted liferaft, EPIRB, grab bags, satellite phone - and an enormous list of other safety items on board.

-We will be tracked along the route to St. Lucia so your loved ones can keep their eyes on you.

-To give even more reassurance, we follow the ARC guidelines very closely to ensure we are fully prepared for any eventuality. The ARC committee also do a thorough check to make sure every boat is suitable for crossing. 

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DETAILS OF YACHT

We mostly coach on yachts of between 37 and 41ft. We take our biggest yacht, a  Beneteau 40.7 a very popular racer cruiser which will have at least 3-4 sisters in its class as it is so easy to sail and is a perfect size for us ladies.

Our yachts have been specifically chosen as they are easy to handle, great for learning! There is no denying us girls sometimes don't have the physical strength of the boys but with our technical ability and a well-chosen yacht we can do just as well.  

All of your time will be spent living as crew-mates on your yacht.  Most of the yachts are 9/10 berth yachts with 3 cabins and a saloon so the boats will normally have 2 persons in each cabin i.e. 6 - and we use the saloon which can sleep an additional 2-4 persons. We will have a spinnaker or 2 and coach you on your downwind sailing schools along the way or be prepared 

 

 "What an amazing, exciting, life changing time I have had! I have made friends for life and I have a new energy that I simply don't want to ever loose!" 

Laura ARC 2014

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About our voyage

We really enjoy the weeks preparation together as the whole team are given specific roles onboard. There are parties galore and we have so much fun bonding as a team - and we havent even left yet!! 

The day of the start is like the day before an enormous adventure - the start of the Grand National springs to mind as the buzz in the marina with anticipation is almost deafening! Its SOOOOO exciting! And then...we are off the dock. Goodbye world...well for a few weeks. Bliss ahead! The start line is our chance to wave 'bon voyage' to all the new friends we have made ashore. From tiny tots to Grandads - they are all doing it! Bang - and we are off!! Once out of the acceleration zone of the Canaries and heading into the ocean, we will be using the spinnaker during the day and poling out the jib at night, meaning speed but safety. This also means people off watch at night will be able to get sufficient rest without having to worry about the spinnaker being up. This is a great way to practice good helmsmanship, as well as understanding getting the boat to move faster using the sails. We hand steer the yacht the whole way across (no auto helm for us gals!) meaning you really can say "I sailed across an Ocean!"
During the trip you will see what mother nature really is made of ; beautiful sunsets and sunrises, escorts of dolphins through the night, peace and quiet!

We aim to have FUN...FUN...all the way  - its amazing what fun you can have with a broom handle some music and a few friends. Seriously we do becaome inventive it is hilarious to hear to tales afetr the event.

On your triumphant arrival in Rodney Bay, St Lucia you will never be more emotional about seeing dry land - or indeed a shower and an ice cold drink! You will also make friends for life as you do something completely extraordinary and life changing!! This will be the start of your life....... Start it today!!!!!!!

*The crossing itself may take anywhere between 14-21 days - arrive early and you'll spend the remaining days enjoying some well-earned relaxation in beautiful St Lucia before flying back home when the event officially ends - usually by the 15 December - please check end date for the crossing year.

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Safety

As an established RYA sailing school - we are extremly safety aware. Our boats are inspected regularly with maintenance part of our syllabus at the school. You will be guided by our years of experience as yachtmaster Instructors. You will be guided by our 2 qualified crew members and we provide an extremely comprhensive safety brief before you go. We ensure you know every part of the yacht and the use of every safety item.

We have top of the range self inflating Lifejackets with hoods, Lifelines, deck mounted Liferaft, EPIRB, grab bags, satellite phone - and an enormous list of other safety items onboard. We will be tracked along the route to St.Lucia so your loved ones can keep their eyes on you and estimate your ETA

To give even more reassurance, we follow the ARC guidelines very very closely to ensure we are fully prepared for any eventuality. The ARC committee also do a thorough check to make sure every boat is suitable for crossing.

We actively take part in the safety seminars and here, as if by magic, if one of our crew testing out the liferaft mid demonstration in the pool in Las palmas. Well done M!

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Preparation

We meet on the Sunday or Monday and from that point we start work on our preparation. We all get to join in with provisioning the boat and storing everything below decks to ensure that you know where everything on the boat This also means you feel at home! We need an awful lot of food as it is one of the most important parts to the crossing - breakfast lunch and dinner mmmm.

Here we are doing the first part of the provisioning in the supermarket - again this is a team effort and one which you can join in on if there is time between the exciting range of seminars.

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St. Lucia

We ARRIVE IN STYLE!!! Arriving in St Lucia you are greeted by loud hooters and cocktails waiting for you on the dock whilst your fellow sailors applaud your amazing feat! Here is one of our crews arrival costume! We are so good at packing a boat to contain all we need we even had arrival outfits!! Now thats organised!

The parties continue long into the night with that Caribbean feel,and the night hots up as steel bands play and the BBQs get going.

Over the next week, there's a fantastic week of celebrating before you have to force yourself back to 'normal life' but you'll go with some amazing memories! CONGRATULATIONS - you have now joined one of the small band of yachtties who can say " oh yeah...I sailed across the Atlantic once....!"

After the event.

Why rush to head home after this? Stay and spend Christmas with us and explore the beautiful island of St. Lucia and head down to Mustique for a cocktail in the infamous Basil's Bar.. 

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Our results!

In 2015 we were absolutely over the moon to finish in our best ever position, finishing 7th in our class (Racing class II)! Not only that but the Youngest Skipper award went to our fabulous 22 year old skipper, Nicola Henderson on Hot Stuff for the second year in a row!!!

Read more about the 2015 event HERE

In 2009 Girls for Sail was awarded the Prestigious ARC MAREZ AWARD.

The girls were applauded for their outstanding contribution to this year's event heralded as the team that "GAVE THEIR TOTAL COMMITMENT AS A TEAM TO MAKING THE EVENT A MOST MEMORABLE adventure".

This is the penultimate prize in the whole regatta and the boats sailing with us voted with their views about how great a crew we were (thanks guys). We are extremely proud of this award and we were pretty emotional on receipt. This is Andrew Bishop from the |World Cruising Club handing it over to our safe keeping for a year.

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In 2011 GirlsForSail was awarded the prize for best blog! Well they say girls can talk eh - seriously the blog was amazing. It is still on our website as are all the other years - even the fairies of the lost ARC. 

What's Included

  • 2800 miles of sailing
  • Exclusive use of yacht
  • Professional crew
  • All breakfasts, Lunches and Dinners aboard
  • Champagne Welcome
  • Entry to rally
  • Entry to rally parties
  • Mooring fees
  • Girlsforsail team tops

A LIFETIME ADVENTURE

If you are interested why not take our ARC Discover Yourself Questionnaire

More details available from the office info@girlsforsail.com

Bye ladies - see you over the other side......the sunny side!

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